Sport & Social

Tortes and Torts: Burgers with Hailey Boutin

Robynne Thompson (1L)

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing 3L student and burger connoisseur, Hailey Boutin. Hailey is the President of OUTLaw and a member of the LSA’s Graduation Committee. After graduation, Hailey will be completing her articles at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (Calgary) where she started as a summer student. After exchanging pictures of our pets (Hailey has two adorable hairless cats), we dove into some burgers and I got the lowdown on all things 1L recruit.

 Hailey and I were both first timers at The Burger’s Priest. Despite the odd possessive that makes the name slightly cumbersome to say, The Burger’s Priest menu is, not surprisingly, stocked with a plethora of burgers and fries. But they also serve chicken and hot dogs. For some reason, on the menu the word ‘Vatican’ signals the presence of a grilled cheese bun. For instance, the ‘Vatican of Ice’ is ice cream sandwiched between a grilled cheese bun, which sounds both revolting and enticing.

 Another fun twist is that The Burger’s Priest also has a secret menu (AKA an additional menu on their website). Hailey and I both had ‘The Heavvy’ from the secret menu. It’s a beef patty with bacon, panko-crusted jalapenos, secret sauce, and the usual burger fixings. I wanted a little spice, but I was too scared to try the ‘Fiery Furnace,’ a bacon cheeseburger with crushed hot peppers – next time I’d give it a shot.

 As far as The Heavvy goes, in Hailey’s rankings, it might crack the top ten but definitely needs more sauce. I’m inclined to agree. Although I genuinely enjoyed the burger (the panko-crusted jalapenos were pretty great), I’m always suspicious of a burger if I don’t feel like a messy fool while eating it. Sadly, the fries also left a little to be desired. All said, I would definitely go back for another burger. And maybe a chili cheese dog. And the ice cream-grilled cheese hybrid/monstrosity.

 Everyone has a technique for eating a burger. As Hailey says, “you learn a lot about somebody by the way they eat a burger.” Hailey’s approach: once you pick it up, you don’t put it down until you finish and forget about breathing. I suppose the opposite is true for the 1L recruitment process – definitely breathe. That tip is possibly the most important. I’m the type of person that flips a burger upside-down to eat it. I don’t know why but it seems easier that way. I wonder what that says about me … actually I don’t think I want to know.

 From awkwardly eating a burger, to awkwardly transitioning into writing about the awkward 1L recruit…the recruiting process is a strange one, and can seem a bit overwhelming. I was hoping to spruce up my resume and tackle some cover letters over the winter break; instead I watched an unhealthy amount of Netflix. So, I spent my January frantically trying to balance applying for jobs broadly and finding a firm that speaks to me. I’ll just say it – based solely on websites, it’s difficult to find anything that makes a firm unique.

 Luckily, Hailey has a few tips. It might seem counter-intuitive, but interviews are a great way to learn more about which firm suits you best. So be yourself. This advice always makes a me a bit nervous. My self isn’t always a professional or interesting person. But, Hailey is reassuring. She describes herself as a “big personality” (from our interactions, this just means she’s outgoing and funny) and Norton Rose Fulbright embraces her uniqueness. Though I’m not particularly outgoing or funny, maybe there is hope for me. Does anyone know which firm welcomes overthinking and socially awkward 1Ls?

 In reality, nobody wants to go to work every day having to drastically alter their personality. Hailey noticed during the interview process that she felt comfortable with members of Norton Rose Fulbright: “it wasn’t exhausting trying to put on this recruit façade.” During interviews, you can feel confident talking about your interests and be genuine: “they want to know you, they want people that fit with their vibe.” Ultimately, for Hailey, the goal should be to “find a firm that respects you as a person, that respects your personality, that respects your weaknesses and strengths and respects your time.” Sounds good to me.

 Hailey’s next tip is to think about the values you want in a firm. For Hailey, she knew Norton Rose Fulbright was the right place for her when she found out they were the first firm to march in the Calgary Pride Parade. They also followed the recruiting rules, and Hailey has seen the benefits of that integrity. The firm demonstrates a high level of respect, even for the lowly summer student. In Hailey’s experience, even the busiest partner made time for a student that wanted to learn.

 Connecting to the values that matter to you will make it a bit more bearable when you inevitably work a ridiculous amount during articling. As Hailey notes, “at the end of the day you’re going to have a good student experience at any firm that you’re at. You’re going to be doing good work, you’re going to learn so much, and then I think it’s so important to find a firm that makes it worth working like a dog.”

 Next, the dreaded question … what if you get a summer student position somewhere that, in the end, you dislike? It happens. Hailey recommends taking the experience as a learning opportunity, being respectful, and simply moving on.

 Under the impending doom of interviews, coffees, dinners, and receptions, stay armed with Hailey’s advice. Be yourself, be genuine, and stick to your values. And, regardless of the result, we can look forward to the fact that it will soon be over and the end of 1L is in sight. (Pro tip: if you get invited to a dinner during the recruitment period, definitely don’t order an awkward, messy, delicious burger.)

 Stop by one of The Burger’s Priest’s two locations in Edmonton at 109th Street and Jasper or 98th Street in South Edmonton Common.